I’ve just returned from two weeks in Ireland and the United Kingdom, and it’s never been more embarrassing to be an American overseas than since President Donald Trump decided to pull the U.S. out of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.
This is an accord that took years to broker, painstakingly put together by over 190 counties: a deal that brought together the powerhouses of China and India as well as the Old World polluters of Europe and sought, at two and a half minutes to midnight, to do something to save our precious planet. That deal will now have to proceed without the world’s biggest economy and dominant superpower.
Trump mentioned making Pittsburgh great again but neglected to point out nearby Donora, where 70 people died and hundreds were permanently injured in 1948 by air pollution (many more will die from global warming).
I am deeply dismayed that my government has announced its withdrawal from the Paris treaty, but after marching with 200,000 others April 29 in Washington for the People’s Climate Mobilization, I know there are enough people committed to the principles behind combating climate change, and am hopeful that our cities and states will blunt the impact of Trump’s bad decision.
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We must all support each other in being agents of change, reducing our reliance on fossil fuels and collectively holding back our rising global temperatures. And we must celebrate our achievements together on occasions such as Earth Day. We don’t all have to be ugly Americans.
Douglas M. Mason, Port Matilda